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Tag Archives : Swimcap

Summer Hair Myths Debunked

Having practiced trichology for over 50 years, I have heard a fair few misconceptions about hair in my consultation rooms, ranging from the misguided to the downright absurd. I thought I would share the more common ones, and, as we are in the height of summer, they shall be summer themed, too!

Myth: Sitting In The Sun is a Healthy Way to Lighten Your Hair

Truth: While UV rays will not do as much immediate damage as pouring bleach solution onto your hair, the chemistry behind it is still much the same. The sun degrades your hair’s protein structure, leaving it brittle, dry and prone to split ends and breakage. Marry that with chlorinated and salt water and you have quite the recipe for disaster. If you enjoy the ‘sun-kissed’ look, leave your hair unprotected in the sun for small amounts of time, and then apply a waterproof protective moisturizing cream, such as my Swimcap. This will give you the best of both worlds!

Myth: Applying Oil Moisturizes Dry Hair

Truth: Certain oils can definitely help moisturize and soothe dry skin, but apply them to your hair and you’ll just end up with very greasy locks. In order for oils to have an effect on your hair, they need to be applied in an emulsion. If not, they will simply sit on top of the cuticle and not penetrate it. Hair moisturizers are most effective when applied in a cream form, and then left on for a minimum of 20 minutes. Almost all my clients with bleached hair, and/or hair past shoulder length; use my multi-award winning pre-shampoo conditioner, Elasticizer, once to twice per week in the summer.

Myth: Shampooing Dries My Hair

Truth: If you find the summer has dried your hair, do not reduce the amount you shampoo to ‘remoisturize’ it. Time and time again I hear this, and it always has negative results. Your cortex’s water content is largely responsible for your hair’s elasticity, so the act of shampooing actually adds hydration. During shampooing, a small amount of water passes through the cuticle into the cortex, and is then sealed in when you smooth the cuticle with conditioner. Just like your skin, strands of your hair can become dehydrated and dry – and shampooing helps to replace lost moisture. I will say this though: You may want to change the conditioner you use to a heavier one during the summer. If you have very fine hair, applying the product sparingly to the mid-lengths and ends is all that is needed. I recommend Moisture Balancing Conditioner for those with fine, yet processed or overly brittle hair.

Myth: A Summer Juice Fast Will Rejuvenate My Body and Hair

Truth: This myth is a more recent one that I have heard, and one which couldn’t be more wrong! While initially a week or two of ‘juicing’ may make you feel lighter and brighter, the long-term effects on your hair, and body, are terrible. Firstly, your hair is a non-essential tissue, yet also the second fastest growing tissue your body supports. This means that your body never prioritises its energy requirements and any disruption to nutrition, as well as any rapid loss of weight, often results in your hair shedding 4-6 weeks after the fast. I can literally set my watch to it. Secondly, your hair is composed primarily of protein, and so removing protein from your diet will certainly have a detrimental effect on your hair.

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Vacation Hair Care: Sand and Slopes

There is very little difference between caring for your hair at the beach and when skiing. In each instance, your hair is subjected to similar environmental hazards. For example, windy conditions, the sun, sweat, salt or chlorinated pool/sauna water, even hats—be they large rimmed sun hats or snug & wooly ski attire.

The primary consideration is protection from all of these elements, of which I will describe below:

Salt & Chlorinated Water

Salt water has an osmotic effect on the hair, meaning that it leaches water out of your hair. Chlorinated water can be just as damaging. To protect your hair from associated distress, use Philip Kingsley Swimcap. I originally formulated it for the U.S. synchronized swim team in 1984 and it contains UV protectors, moisturizers and is highly water resistant.

The Sun

Have you noticed that the skin on your face burns just as easily on the beach as when skiing? The same applies to your hair & scalp. The sun on both the slopes and the beach can be exceedingly damaging, causing hair to become brittle and dry and any exposed scalp prone to burn. To help prevent this, use my Swimcap Cream (as described earlier), or wear a hat. To re-hydrate and replenish your hair & scalp, apply an intensive treatment twice a week. I recommend using my Exfoliating Scalp Mask and multi-award winning pre-shampoo conditioner, Elasticizer. They both ensure trouble-free scalps and resilient, manageable, shiny hair.


Apply weatherproof products that counteract dehydration. For example, Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence. As an added bonus, this will enable you to have protected and flyaway-free hair when going to social events!


The sun, physical exertion and hats can all cause a sweaty scalp. This can result in itching, a buildup of bacteria and greasy looking hair. Apply Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner to your scalp to inhibit the spread of bacteria, clear irritation and soak up excess oils. Furthermore, always shampoo your hair at the end of the day to thoroughly cleanse your scalp and hair. Choose the correct shampoo according to your hair type and follow with the correct conditioner, also according to your hair type.  If necessary – and it won’t harm – shampoo your hair in the morning, too.

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